Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. And in today’s busy world, productivity is everything – no longer a term saved solely for factory production lines, it’s a term used within our personal lives too. We’ve all procrastinated at one time or another and it can be a hard habit to beat! Developing some healthy habits is key to beating procrastination; you might find one is enough or you might need several. It doesn’t matter – as long as you find what works for you! Good luck…
Set a schedule. By giving yourself set times to get things done, you remove the opportunity for procrastination. Another task will be due soon, giving you a deadline to work to and providing you with some healthy structure.
Set reminders. Use your phone or tablet to set yourself reminders. Make these reminders to do tasks or simply to get up and get moving. Think of them as your very own little motivational coach!
Go public. This technique is great for bigger goals, such as running a 10K or quitting smoking. Call your family and friends, and use social media to your advantage. Announce to the world that you’ll be completing said goal on a certain date. Knowing that others are watching is a great motivator!
Rise and shine. There’s no better feeling than realizing that you’ve completed half the day’s chores or workload and it’s only 10am! Early mornings tend to be quieter, with fewer distractions, making them perfect for getting stuff done.
Get some kip. To make the most of your day, it really does help if you’re wide awake! When you’re tired, you’re way more likely to daydream and procrastinate. So get to bed nice and early.
Tidy up. Whilst there are surely a few exceptions, for most people mess can be a huge distraction. It’s hard to organize your mind if your home or workstation is full of clutter. Keep things clean and tidy and watch your mind declutter!
Turn off your phone. Or at least put it out of the room. You won’t get much done if you’re sat on Facebook all day or your messages are constantly pinging. Remove the distraction and you remove the procrastination!
Just do something. Anything. It can be really hard to get started on a project when you’re not sure where to, well, start. That’s okay. Start anywhere. Once you complete one part, it will naturally lead onto another, and before you know it, you’ll be halfway through!
Know yourself. We all make excuses to avoid doing certain things. The difference between those who get stuff done and those who don’t is knowing that they’re doing it. Learn to recognize the difference between an excuse and a genuine reason and you’re sure to achieve more!
Make a list. An oldie but a goodie. That’s why people still do it. Use a pen and paper or an app on your phone – whatever floats your boat. Ticking things off as you complete them is the best part. Weirdly.
Close your email. This one mostly applies to those working on a computer. When you’re working on a project, close your email app to avoid getting distracted by incoming emails. Setting certain times to check and respond to messages can be a big help too.
Set time challenges. This one might not appeal to everyone initially, but give it a go – you might surprise yourself! Set an alarm for five, ten, or 20 minutes from now and spend that time doing as much of a task as you can, whether it’s tidying the kitchen or writing an email. You might not complete everything but you’ll get a decent amount done and that’s a start, right? Rest in between then start again!
Turn on the music. There’s nothing more likely to get your blood pumping and your brain raring to go than some upbeat, motivational music. Whether you’re into Taylor Swift or punk rock, go for songs with faster beats to get you up and on the move.
Stop trying to be perfect. Sheryl Sandberg once said ‘Done is better than perfect.’ And it’s true. Striving for perfection where it’s not required often slows us down. Does it really matter that you don’t have time to vacuum underneath the sofas today? Isn’t it better to vacuum just the visible floor than none at all? Exactly.
Take a break. Often, we procrastinate because our brains or bodies have had enough. Preempt this by taking regular breaks from whatever it is that you’re trying to get done to give yourself time to rejuvenate.
Get creative. Doing something that will get your creative juices flowing can inspire you to get other stuff done too. It also makes you feel good, and we’re all more productive when we feel good, right?
Tackle something small first. By taking care of something small and manageable first, you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something, which can spur you on to do more. If you use to-do lists, writing something down that you’ve already done and then crossing it off can work wonders. It might be a cheat, but if it works, it works!
Take some time to yourself. By allowing yourself some time to reflect on what’s going on in your life, you’ll free up your mind for other things later on. Plus, it’s just a good, healthy practice for your mind!